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Laua‘e o Nu‘uanu

Manu Boyd

Composed by Manu Boyd, on April 20, 2002, “after picking lauaʻe in Nuʻuanu for my hula brother’s baby’s ʻahaʻaina piha makahiki. Hula brother: Alvin “Gunnie” Hanzawa. Baby: (Gunnie’s and Tweedles’ third), Maya Kahiluonapuaopiʻilani. Pickers: Me, Kyle “Boongie” Atabay, Kasey Keʻala-boy Chock, Frank and Melia Among.

Lauaʻe o Nuʻuanu koʻu hoʻohihi
Ke ʻala e moani i ke kualono

Hoʻolono i ka leo o ka hui manu                
E walea hauʻoli ana i ka laʻi

Ua laʻi Lanihuli i ka wēkiu
Kuʻu lei ʻāhihi kau mai i luna

I luna nō au me ke onaona
Ka melia melemele hone i ka poli

Polinahe ka puana o neia mele
Lauaʻe o Nuʻuanu koʻu hoʻohihi

Puana ʻia mai no ka lauaʻe
Konikoni lua ia ʻala ke honi      

The lauaʻe of Nuʻuanu has caught my attention
Its fragrance perfumes the mountain ridge

Hear the din of the birds
As they happily delight in the calm

Peaceful is Lanihuli at its highest point
Where my lei of ʻāhihi lehua remains

I ascend with the fragrance
Of yellow melia that stirs the heart

Soft and sweet, my song’s refrain
My admiration is for the lauaʻe of Nuʻuanu

The story is told for the verdant lauaʻe
Whose fragrance tingles doubly when breathed in  

 

© Manu Boyd, 2002.

Lauae 1 - starrs

photo credit: Forest & Kim Starr

When crushed, the laua‘e fern yields a fragrance reminiscent of maile. For this reason, perhaps, the word laua‘e means "beloved, sweet, as a lover," and ho‘olaua‘e, its causative/simulative form, means "to cherish, as a beloved memory."




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